Key facts about fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is primarily used as a pain medication, particularly for severe and chronic pain.  It is also used with other medicines immediately before or during surgery to help the anesthetic work better.  It is a potent opioid analgesic, meaning it is a highly effective pain reliever.  When used under the supervision of a healthcare professional and according to prescribed guidelines, the risk of addiction associated with fentanyl (as with other opioid pain relievers) can be minimized.  However, when misused or used illicitly, fentanyl is extremely dangerous.  Here are a few key points on the dangers of fentanyl:

1. High potency: Fentanyl is exceptionally potent, estimated to be 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin.  This potency increases the risk of overdose, especially if someone unknowingly consumes a product that contains fentanyl.

2. Illicit use: Illicitly produced fentanyl has become a significant concern in recent years.  It is often mixed with other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or counterfeit prescription pills, increasing the risk of unintentional overdose.  Illicit fentanyl can be sold as powder, tablets, or be mixed with other substances without the knowledge of the user.

3. Overdose risk: Fentanyl overdose can occur rapidly due to its potency.  The high strength of the drug can overwhelm the respiratory system, leading to respiratory depression, decreased oxygen supply, and potentially fatal consequences.  Even small variations in dosage can have severe consequences.

4. Public health crisis: Fentanyl has been a major contributor to the opioid crisis in many countries, including the United States and Canada. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been linked to a significant increase in overdose deaths and has posed challenges for law enforcement and public health agencies.


2024 © Vident Partners.